Why We Need to Celebrate Failure

Learning to Fly
Learning to Fly {Prints available in the shop! Click here to take a closer look.}

My goal is to fail.  Yes, you read that correctly.

If I am ever going to make, do, create, become someone who leaves a transformational and hopefully a creative legacy from God’s heart, I am going to fail. Probably in epic fashion.  More than once. Or twice. Or thrice. {Hmm, that went all Shakespeare-like there. See? Wrong millennium. I’m already proving my point.}

God celebrates our failing.  Sometimes even more than our succeeding.

But He doesn’t look at us and see failures or screw -ups… because we are not defined by our success, or lack thereof.  We are defined by His faith in who He has created us to be and become.

Our failure is precious because if we are succeeding all the time, we are not stretching or growing or exploring nearly enough.  We are settling for safe.  Settling for safety is like burying our talents and we know how well that went over.

Church, we need to stop running from failure and start a cheering section instead. Now, just to be clear, I’m not talking about integrity issues. I’m talking about having a big crazy dream born from God’s heart being fused into ours and diving all in. And then face-planting in the process.  I’m talking about stepping out to follow Jesus and tripping on the doorjamb on the way out the door.

Many of us are too afraid to dream bigger than our known abilities because we fear getting a red scrawling F across our best efforts. God’s Kingdom comes not based on our ability, but based on our availability to Him.

God isn’t tallying our mistakes. He delights in transforming them and us with them.

Have you ever seen an 18 month old learn to run? And fall face first trying? You wouldn’t go over to them and yell at them, telling them they were stupid failures who should give up on ever walking. Of course not! We scoop them up, spin them around, kiss their bumps and say, “WOW! That was AWESOME sweetie. Let’s go around the log next time, ok?”  How much more so does God lovingly gather our learning mistakes and cover them with His grace?

Church, we have run from failure for too long. Instead of understanding failure as a vital part of growth, we duck and dodge and cover over our weakness. When we hide our failing moments, we embrace a culture of shame and bury the dreams and visions Jesus has given us in fear.

God is not afraid you are going to get wrong. He is absolutely certain at some point you most definitely will. And He already has a plan to fix it.  He celebrates our faith-filled failings more than our safe successes. Because when we feel most like we are falling, He knows we are really learning to fly.

An Update:

Thank you to my two new supporters!  I still need 98 more by Dec 15 to have the minimum funding I need each month to function in this new season of missions, mobilization and mentoring.  Please take a peek here and see how you can become a part of what God is doing.